The announcement of Kay Barnes as the choice to head up a Jackson County Charter Review Task Force didn't attract much notice
, but it could be the most significant event for Kansas City political insiders since Tom Pendergast started selling concrete.
A task force to review the Jackson County Charter sounds like an innocuous, perhaps even dull, assignment for a woman who once spent her days being chauffeured to ribbon-cuttings at taxpayer-financed boondoggles that profited her closest friends. Term limits forced her out of that cushy gig, much to the disappointment of her entourage of developers and real estate lawyers. A subsequent attempt to take her game to the next level by seeking access to the even larger federal dollar pot resulted in a bruising defeat and a nightmarish couple years spent north of the river, miles from the Country Club Plaza.
"Kay and I met one day when she accidentally visited Independence, thinking she would find the headquarters of The Independent
, Kansas City's Journal of Society," Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders recounted.
"I saw my opportunity to solve some of the County's real estate problems - namely, the fact that the City has begun to realize that they have no obligation to donate $2,000,000 to the stadiums. Kay has demonstrated a real knack for sticking Kansas City taxpayers with outrageous financial obligations, and that is exactly what I wanted to accomplish."
While the Jackson County Charter Review Commission has yet to hold its first meeting, big changes are already afoot. Barnes is taking a fresh approach to the task, using the opportunity to use the County's governing document to alter some fundamental relationships.
Kay Barnes beamed with excitement as she announced the most visible change. "From now on, the 'K' will be called the 'KC'!," she proclaimed from behind a humongous flower.
While many in the audience assumed that the name was being changed to reflect a more active role for Kansas City, her posse of developers and real estate lawyers were quick to correct the mistake.
"'Kauffman Stadium' will now officially be called 'Kauffman-Cordish' Stadium, and the stadium complex will henceforth be part of the Power and Light District," former City Manager Wayne Cauthen announced. "I had never actually read the contracts between the City and Cordish, but it turns out that instead of promising free parking, like Kay and I told people it did, it actually gave Cordish the rights to use taxpayer funds to directly take over local businesses instead of slowly driving them out of business. Who knew?"
Of course, once Cordish takes over the site, Kansas City taxpayers will be on the hook for all the risk but none of the profit. "That's the way it works," former Mayor Barnes explained. "We're already paying $12 million this year for P&L, up from $4 million last year
. What's another few million dollars? The snow on the streets will be melted by the time baseball season starts."
The deal will have a major impact on the management of the Royals baseball team, as well. CEO David Glass made the announcement that Steve Glorioso, longtime aide to Kay Barnes, will be joining Royals management as Revenge Coach.
"For years we've focused on Offense and Defense, but it hasn't worked out very well for us. When we saw how Mr. Glorioso handled the defeat of his chosen candidates in the Mayoral and Congressional elections, we realized we were missing out on an important facet of the complete game. From now on, whenever a team defeats us, we will focus on attacking them, their families, and their supporters. We will contact other teams in the league to badmouth the victors, and then we will badmouth those teams when it suits us." Glorioso chimed in, "Do you know what kind of cars opposing players drive? Do you know that some of them talk to their wives about the games??"
When asked why they were hiring Mr. Glorioso instead of someone with a better track record of success, Mr. Glass explained, "Jeff Roe was already talking to the Yankees, and Steve pointed to his experience
Critics pointed to a looming problem with the concept of Cordish ownership of the the stadium. A reporter from a small newspaper raised the question - "What will those money-loving #### do when black athletes show up in athletic apparel?"
Cordish was not yet prepared to respond to the issue. "We're at least two task forces and a committee away from figuring out what to do with the dress code issue," Mayor Funkhouser replied. "Until we get it resolved, we will expect all athletes to play in proper 'club' attire."
As the press conference came to a close, Anne McGregor showed up in the parking lot with a few paid petitioners in an attempt to "Recall the Umpire". Upon hearing that there was no legal basis to recall the umpire, she explained that the umpire is the least popular person on the field, and that she felt compelled to try to score a few political points off the opportunity. "Even when - I mean if - I fail again to get the right number of legitimate signatures, I can get some publicity for my effort. Oh, and I'm supposed to say 'Stop the nonsense' - my sponsors pay me money every time I say that!"
In a final note, Cordish announced that the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame
will be broadening its scope. "When we came to Kansas City, the first thing we did was bring in Minneapolis barbecue
to replace Lil' Jake's. We want to bring a certain bland homogeneity to all cities, and we see no reason that the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame should feature Kansas City Royals. We'll be replacing the George Brett statue with a Kirby Puckett statue on opening day," a nameless company spokesperson recited. "The Johnson Countians we're hoping to attract probably won't notice the difference."
Labels: Cordish, humor, Kay Barnes, Mike Sanders, recall, stadiums